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What’s In Your Wi-Fi Tool Box?
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GeorgeS749
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GeorgeS749,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/2/2014 | 1:40:34 PM
Re: Great Post
Tmcclintic,

Well said, could't have said it better. Powerful tools in knowledgeable hands ...
GeorgeS749
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GeorgeS749,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/2/2014 | 1:04:29 PM
Re: Then what?
Lorna, 

You're correct. Identifying interference is half the battle. Sounds like you're speaking from experience. You have a few options to overcome interference. Lets outline a few:
1 - Move your access point channel away from the interference. In my example, microwave impacts channels 6 - 11, move your access point to channel 1 avoiding the impacted frequencies. 
 
2 - 802.11b/g/n protocols use the 2.4 GHz spectrum. By standard they require 22 MHz spacing. Only 3 non-overlapping channels exist (1,6,11). Consider a move to the 5 GHz spectrum, 802.11a/n/ac where you have 20+ non-overlapping channels. This is your best option.
 
3 - Areas of low level interference can be overcome by increasing your transmit power, speaking louder than the interfence. Not always recommended, but something you can consider if you're out of options. 
 
4 - Going to the source of the interference and speaking to the owner to work out a compromise. Not always an option, but something that could be considered. 
 
Thank you for response! 
tmcclintic
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tmcclintic,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/31/2014 | 10:23:53 AM
Great Post
I am very fond of Cisco's Spectrum Expert. Utilizing Channelyzer with SE has been fantastic in viewing the RF field from afar. Spectrum XT has proven to be good, but I find some of the additional features lacking. It seems to call out signatures incorrectly very often. Also, if you are going to do interferer location a patch antenna will save you a ton of time. I feel like tracking down with an omni leaves me going in circles, I often times use my hands to make a 'reflector' just to enhance the precision. Once again, Meta Geek excels there with their device finder. When looking at the layers above the RF field, I find Omni Peek to provide the most information than any product I have used. Fluke's WiFi Analyzer does a god job for most cases, but again some details seem lacking. Just can't beat the aggregate captures Omni Peek does with multiple channels. All in all, George you hit it right on the mark. There are lots of tools, all of them work well by design, but the engineer is the one that needs to determine what to use to gather the data they need for analysis.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
1/27/2014 | 1:58:44 PM
Then what?
Hi George - Isn't finding out what's causing interference only half the battle? What if you find out that it's a microwave in a neighboring office, or the new phone system that building management installed, or the wireless printer that a certain group just HAS to have? Is there a way to surgically block such signals without getting in hot water?


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